- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Berlin-based men’s and womenswear label Leonie Mergen, which has a focus on elaborate design and a dedication to German tailoring and craftsmanship brought its autumn/winter 2019 collection to London Fashion Week as part of the Oxford Fashion Studio showcase that places a focus on fashion disrupters and independent design talent.
Mergen, a graduate from the Berlin International University of Art for Fashion (ESMOD), founded her namesake label in 2016, and her timeless clear cut aesthetic and couture-inspired delicate silhouettes for women alongside masculine compositions for men has made her a firm favourite at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.
For autumn/winter 2019, Mergen pays tribute to the past generations that shaped the industrial development within her contemporary wearable designs by combining functional elements with “social attires of the various eras of industrialisation”. The tailored collection sees leather and cotton combined and layered throughout with artistic prints, as part of the label’s ethos to use natural materials.
Highlights of the collection includes buttery leather dresses layered over trousers for the women, one sleeve long dresses, slinky pink flowing gowns teamed with printed scares and harnessed accessories, while for the men there were tailored jumpsuits, white shirts with pipe detailing and boxy leather jackets.
Five Minutes With… Leonie Mergen at London Fashion Week
German couture designer Leonie Mergen presented her autumn/winter 2019 collection during London Fashion Week and FashionUnited caught up with her over e-mail to discover the inspiration behind her latest collection, why she loves to show in London, and her tips for the next generation of fashion.
What’s the inspiration for your autumn/winter 2019 collection?
Leonie Mergen: “The inspiration behind the current AW19/20 collection is the era of Industrialisation. This season, I am showing a series of ensembles that reveal and reinterpret the artistic side of historical garments, both in their functionality as well as in their expression of the social aesthetics throughout the different eras of industrial significance. I translated them into a contemporary wearability while still capturing their inspirational origin.”
What’s so special about showing during London Fashion Week?
“London is one of the four fashion capitals of the world and it is known to be the seedbed for new and young fashion brands due to the many famous fashion colleges such as Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Royal College of Art. I am convinced that London is the right place to enter the fashion market.”
If not London, then where would you rather be?
“As London is my favourite city I am hoping to always have the opportunity to showcase my collections during London Fashion Week.”
Can you describe who the ‘Leonie Mergen’ customer is?
“My customers are men and women who set value on highly elegant designs and most exclusive materials as well as a sustainable and traceable production of their clothes.”
What are the goals for your label in the next 12-months?
“My goal for the label in the next 12 months is to become more and more noticed and established, particularly in London and Paris.”
One piece of advice you’d give a student fashion designer starting out?
“Work hard and be patient with yourself. Surround yourself with people who support you and have understanding for such a job.”
If you wasn’t a fashion designer - what would you be?
“I am quite interested in astronomy, however fashion has always been my main focus.”
Images: courtesy of Leonie Mergen